Monday, 6 July 2009

The Adventures of Chemoman

Its been a funny couple of weeks to say the least. Very up and down emotionally, not sure why but as someone close to me said you can't plan when grief will hit you sometimes. I guess Devon felt like some sort of closure and in another way opened it all up again and as my counselor has said (yep, I'm no longer ashamed to admit I need some help coming to terms with all that has happened over the past 18 months) its still very very early days. I have recently been subjected to being made to feel guilty about my actions recently or rather lack of them, its like people expect things to be normal for me and my brain to engage on 'normal' things. It doesn't happen though, I forget a lot of important things (for example we are into July already and I have only remembered to tax my car oops!). But I have been advised by a number of people (bless them) that I need to stop taking other peoples crap on the chin and I have nothing to apologise for - after all I am grieving the loss of a wonderful man and trying to cope with that, the affect loosing him has had on our children whilst trying to crack on at work and normal family life. No easy thing I can assure you! Its not easy in a normal circumstances so add in the loss of a young father and its all rather screwed, confusing and upsetting for all three of us. I have therefore been given a fantastic set of Sammie commandments from my wonderful counselor Karen:-

1) Thou shall not be perfect, nor even try to be
2) Thou shall not try to be all things to all people
3) Thou shall leave things undone that ought to be done
4) Thou shall not spread yourself too thin
5) Thou shall learn to say 'No'
6) Thou shall schedule time for thyself and thy supportive network
7) Thou shall switch off and do nothing regularly
8) Thou shall be boring, inelegant, untidy and unattractive at times
9) Thou shall not even feel guilty
10) Especially thou shall not be thine own worst enemy, but be thy best friend

Fabulous! However, my Monica and vain tendencies will struggle with item 8 - however as I type I am wearing sloppy inelegant clothes with hair scrapped into ugly ponytail and only a scrap of mascara (no full make-up, scary!!!) plus the house looks like a Chinese laundry come child's plan den and desperately needs a hoover which is fine (actually I will get the hoover out shortly and tidy the toys once Harry is in bed, but baby steps right!!).

Anyway, the session I had with Karen today and her list of commandments have helped and I do not feel guilty about neglecting to send a birthday card here and there, and I do not feel guilty about any of my behaviour since Richard passed. My efforts have been towards looking after the children, my own sanity, raising pots loads of cash in his memory and keeping his memory and spirit alive. And if anyone takes issue with that then damn well shame on them!

So anyway after a rubbish time I felt in need of some Wildman inspiration/memories. So I have read through some old posts and had a little chuckle and a little tear all at the same time. I then came across an extract of a Chemoman story that his friend Sandra sent to me, she used the transcript whilst working with some Cuban medical students:-

One day, an innocent, happy littel cell, lets call him Joe, is happily
doing his thing. All seems well, but what Joe doesn't know is that
something has happened to his DNA.

The DNA is like a set of instructions for how to make a new copy of a
cell. They all have 'em. So, anyway, Joe doesn't know, but his DNA
has become damaged. It's like some of the instructions have been lost or
changed. Now Joe reports in for copying. This is where new copies of
him are made, based on his DNA. Blissfully aware that his DNA instructions
contain errors, he happily sets to work creating the next batch of Joe
cells. He finishes this and blammo, cancer!
Well, you see, there are certain things that make an evil, stinking cancer
cell different from an innocent, hard working, normal cell.

Firstly, they don't die when they are suppose to. They just try and
live forever. Second, they don't make a sensible number of copies of
themselves, they keep on cranking out more and more, faster and faster.
Finally, they don't stay where they are suppose to, they go and invade the homes
of other cells. Now, that is just rude.
Everything that a cell does is determined by his DNA, his instructions,
Okay? So, if Joe makes a copy of himself and the DNA is not right, then
his copy, lets call him Joe2, may not do what he is meant to. If the right
instructions are messed up, then what you have is cancer. Joe2 arrives on
the scene. Joe and the rest of his body recognise Joe2 as being one of
them, but Joe2 isn't interested in doing an honest days work and striving to
make the body a better place to love. No. He he is bad. He has
darker thoughts and goals. He wants to multiply, invade and live

Usually, Joe2 and his rapidly copied buddies keep themselves to themselves,
all hidden away, growing and copying. Smug and confident that no one knows
they're there. Every so often, one of them may leave the group and go out
to set up his own little group elsewhere, thus spreading the cancer
around. When cancer starts getting cocky and effecting the cells around
it, the bodies owner may start to notice. Sometimes it'll be a pain or a
cough that won't go or a lymph node swelling up and not going down. Cancer
always gets greedy and gives away its position.

from The Adventures of Chemoman, by Richard Wildman

He was such a fab writer, I can only imagine that he is up in heaven re-stocking the library with The Works Of A Wildman or similar - or more likely scaring them all with his panto Dame type performances!


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